Efficient models for photoionization produced by non-thermal gas discharges in air based on radiative transfer and the Helmholtz equations

A. Bourdon, Victor P. Pasko, N. Y. Liu, S. Célestin, P. Ségur, E. Marode

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    This paper presents formulation of computationally efficient models of photoionization produced by non-thermal gas discharges in air based on three-group Eddington and improved Eddington (SP3) approximations to the radiative transfer equation, and on effective representation of the classic integral model for photoionization in air developed by Zheleznyak et al (1982) by a set of three Helmholtz differential equations. The reported formulations represent extensions of ideas advanced recently by Ségur et al (2006) and Luque et al (2007), and allow fast and accurate solution of photoionization problems at different air pressures for the range , where is the partial pressure of molecular oxygen in air in units of Torr ( at atmospheric pressure) and R in cm is an effective geometrical size of the physical system of interest. The presented formulations can be extended to other gases and gas mixtures subject to availability of related emission, absorption and photoionization coefficients. The validity of the developed models is demonstrated by performing direct comparisons of the results from these models and results obtained from the classic integral model. Specific validation comparisons are presented for a set of artificial sources of photoionizing radiation with different Gaussian dimensions, and for a realistic problem involving development of a double-headed streamer at ground pressure. The reported results demonstrate the importance of accurate definition of the boundary conditions for the photoionization production rate for the solution of second order partial differential equations involved in the Eddington, SP3 and the Helmholtz formulations. The specific algorithms derived from the classic photoionization model of Zheleznyak et al (1982), allowing accurate calculations of boundary conditions for differential equations involved in all three new models described in this paper, are presented. It is noted that the accurate formulation of boundary conditions represents an important task needed for a successful extension of the proposed formulations to two- and three-dimensional physical systems with obstacles of complex geometry (i.e. electrodes, dust particles, aerosols, etc), which are opaque for the photoionizing UV photons.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Article number026
    Pages (from-to)656-678
    Number of pages23
    JournalPlasma Sources Science and Technology
    Issue number3
    StatePublished - Aug 1 2007


    All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

    • Condensed Matter Physics

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